IJC Commissioners And New York Stakeholders Talk About Lake Ontario Flooding

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ROCHESTER, NY (WXXI) – Although members of the joint U.S. – Canadian agency that oversees a water regulation plan came to Central New York on Friday, some of those attending a roundtable discussion weren’t necessarily pleased with what they heard.

That’s because members of the International Joint Commission indicated they still need more time to evaluate the impact of Plan 2014. That’s a controversial plan put into effect a few years ago, which some Lake Ontario shoreline residents feel contributed to recent flooding.

Jane Corwin is the U.S. Chair for the IJC.  She asks political leaders and shoreline residents to be patient.

“It’s  going to take some time and I just want everyone to understand. I know this is very difficult, this evaluation is not going to happen fast enough to do anything for this year, but we are certainly going to look and work as fast as we can, so we can do whatever we can as fast as possible,” Corwin told reporters.

Corwin and her Canadian counterpart, Pierre Béland say that high amounts of rainfall combined with melting snow put a lot of water into the Great Lakes system, and that was the likely biggest contributor to this year’s flooding.

Rep. John Katko and members of the IJC meet in Central NY on Friday. ( Photo: Office of Rep. John Katko)

“We are looking at every possibility, what could we do, tweak here and there to see if we could make things better and this will take a while because it’s not something that we could model in a matter of a year or two.” Béland said.

Congressman John Katko helped organize the meeting on Friday. He said that he looks forward to further collaboration with the IJC and local stakeholders on the best methods to continue addressing the issue.

Area State Senator Pam Helming and Assemblyman Brian Manktelow issued a statement saying that they are disheartened that the IJC is apparently not going to make immediate changes to Plan 2014.

WRVO Public Media contributed to this story.